Each gameweek, a member of the FPL community will kindly reveal their immediate plans and give us some insight into their decision-making process.
Ahead of Gameweek 18, it’s the turn of FPL Shake n Bake to tell us what he intends to do with his/her team.
Hi, Brett. So how did your Gameweek 17 go?
Gameweek 17 saw me take my second four-point hit of the season, as I took advantage of many others using hits to try and get my squad into something I was happy with. Out went Ilkay Gundogan and Tino Livramento; in their place came Phil Foden and Tariq Lamptey, making the hit pay off immediately. A clean sheet from Aaron Ramsdale and returns from Captain Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James and Marcos Alonso sealed my tenth green arrow in 11 weeks.
Are you pleased with your current squad? Who is a player you’d like to own but don’t?
I’m fairly happy with my squad, although I’m keen on removing Raphinha and downgrading Alonso to free up further funds. Going too long without Diogo Jota (I removed him in Gameweek 16 due to the injury rumours) scares me as well. However, the more immediate concern is getting players that have a game this weekend! Watching Arsenal vs West Ham made me really want to get Bukayo Saka back in my squad. He’s another I removed when he picked up a knock and I’ve always had other fires to fight (haven’t we all!?!) that made me unable to bring him back in. He was at the heart of everything good Arsenal did on Wednesday and I just love watching him
What are your transfer plans for Gameweek 18 and beyond?
For Gameweek 18, I’m currently looking to bring a forward in. I’ve currently got 9 players with a match but none are forwards, yet there are slim pickings, especially as I know I want Cristiano Ronaldo back in once Man United start playing again. So I’m therefore wary of taking his funds and spreading them round. My mind is currently set on replacing Ronaldo for a short-term punt on Alexandre Lacazette. Arsenal’s away record is a concern, but I think Leeds will be demoralised after Tuesday night’s 7-0 defeat, something which Lacazette could take advantage of.
The rest of the forwards do not really tempt me within the £6m budget restriction that enables enough funds to bring Ronaldo back in. Therefore I’m looking at a potential move to replace Conor Gallagher with John McGinn so I can field a 4-5-1 (although I won’t be hitting confirm on anything until Saturday). Playing under Steven Gerrard appears to have brought an increased confidence to the Aston Villa side and Gerrard has recently spoken about what a big fan of McGinn he is.
In terms of future plans, I’m trying to remain as flexible as possible and allow myself to react to any news that comes through. This time of year is always full of injuries and postponements…. Covid is only adding to it this season. One eye is firmly on Kevin De Bruyne to replace Salah when he jets off to play in AFCON.
And finally, what about captaincy?
My captain’s armband remains firmly on Mo Salah. Tottenham have improved defensively but Salah has shown via double-digit returns versus Man City and Chelsea that the strength of opposition doesn’t matter to him. I must admit there is some temptation with Man City facing Newcastle (I have Foden and Joao Cancelo), but Salah has only blanked once this season (and even then he outscored my captain choice that weekend!), so I have to leave the armband with him.